‘Bye bye Q, I can’t talk to you any more’: What next for Alex Jones, America’s foremost conspiracy theorist?

Self-styled 'paleoconservative' had a hand in organising Stop the Steal rally that led to Capitol riot but appears to have since broken with QAnon cult

Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 23 March 2021 03:57 EDT
Alex Jones rages at QAnon supporter over lies

“Q tells us stuff and all of it’s lies,” a frustrated Alex Jones recently raved on his InfoWars radio show in the aftermath of the US Capitol riot.

“You keep interrupting me…” his caller, “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley who took part in the failed insurrection and became its poster boy, started to complain.

“Because you’re lying! Because you’re full of s***! That’s why! Because every goddamned thing out of you people’s mouths doesn’t come true,” Mr Jones frothed, working himself up into one of his trademark bellicose furies.

“And it’s always, ‘Oh, there’s energy’ and ‘Oh, now we’re done with Trump’. You said he was the messiah! You said he was invincible! You said it was all over, they were all going to Gitmo!

“Now ‘Oh, he’s part of a larger thing of Q.’ I will not suffer your Q people after this! I knew what you were on day one and I know what you are now and I’m sick of it! I’m sick of all these witches and warlocks and pumpkin popsums [sic] and everything… Hahaha… God, sorry… Bye bye Q, I can’t talk to you any more. Jesus Christ. Lord help me. Argh!”

For the mercifully uninitiated, the QAnon conspiracy theory posits that a secret cabal of Satanic paedophile Democrats run the US government and are engaged in child imprisonment and sex trafficking and, until recently, expected Donald Trump to thwart it from the Oval Office with the help of Q, codename for a deep cover operative dropping updates online with a view to foiling the whole rotten plot.

But if your conspiracy theory is too much for Alex Jones, you know you’re off the deep end.

Although he now appears to have broken with QAnon, Mr Jones was nevertheless involved in organising the “Stop the Steal” gathering in Washington, DC, which many of its adherents attended on 6 January.

Before matters got out of hand and five people lost their lives in the subsequent siege of the US Capitol building, the event was originally a protest against Congress convening to certify the results of November’s presidential election, which Mr Trump and his supporters maintain was “stolen” from them despite no evidence materialising to prove the contention and the president’s Rudy Giuliani-led legal team losing 59 out of 60 court cases disputing the facts.

Grassroots organiser Cindy Chafian, who submitted the permits to the National Park Service, told CNN that Mr Jones had approached her “to make sure he was able to speak at an event that he had contributed to”.

“He agreed to pay for a percentage of the event and I was to try and find someone to help with the funding gap,” she said. 

The InfoWars host’s connections ultimately led her to Publix heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli who, according to The Wall Street Journal, ended up donating $300,000 (£216,000) to pay for the demonstration on the Ellipse near the White House.

Mr Jones reportedly paid $50,000 (£36,000) for his speaking slot at the rally but “deplores the violence that took place”, according to his attorney Norm Pattis.

Alex Jones attending an anti-lockdown protest at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on 18 April 2020

Once the sort of fringe eccentric Jon Ronson and Louis Theroux took an interest in as he picketed Bilderberg Group meetings in Alpine resorts, Mr Jones’s popularity has exploded over the last decade. Clips of his ludicrous rants, filled with declarations such as “Oh my god, we’re being invaded by South American walruses!” have often viral, even though he has long since been booted off most mainstream social media platforms.

Some of his most deranged theories include: the fear that the 2010 grindhouse thriller Machete starring Danny Trejo could start a race war between Mexicans and Americans; that the federal government controls the weather; that Michelle Obama is really a man; that Hillary Clinton being able to open a jar of pickles on Jimmy Kimmel’s chat show was fixed and that she’s “a goddamn demon” anyway; that Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time show in 2017 enacted an occult rite; and, most famously, that the Pentagon has a “gay bomb”, chemicals from which it has allowed to leak into the water supply turning “the friggin’ frogs gay!”

This, on President Trump’s alleged mission to drain the swamp, is a personal favourite: “I never expected Trump charging into a goblin’s nest to not get some goblin vomit and slop and blood on him. I just don’t want to catch him in bed with a goblin ... I don’t want to see him kissing goblins, having political succubus with goblins, I don’t want to see him ingratiating goblins.”

While it is easy to be entertained by this “paleoconservative’s” booming, rasping flights of fancy, worthy of any unscrupulous Texas evangelist, the Capitol riot is not the first time his conspiracy-peddling has been linked to real-world consequences.

The most notorious example remains the non-fatal shooting at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, DC, in December 2016, an alarming episode inspired by the “Pizzagate” theory from which QAnon sprung.

But he has also caused untold upset by insisting the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut in 2012 was staged by the state and that victims’ families were paid actors (he has made similar claims about the moon landing, the 1995 Oklahoma bombing, and 9/11), with the Texas Supreme Court recently paving the way for the bereaved parents involved to sue him after throwing out his attempt to dismiss four defamation lawsuits instigated against him.

Fighting that legal battle is likely to continue to occupy him for the present but the split with the QAnon tribe and the loss of Mr Trump from the Oval Office means he will need to find new themes to hawk on The Alex Jones Show in between its busy schedule of vitamin supplement commercials.

No doubt the new Joe Biden administration, the battle for the soul of the Republican Party and the “cancel culture” epidemic apparently going after Dr Seuss, Speedy Gonzalez and Pepe Le Pew will continue to give him plenty of food for thought.

In the meantime, we can expect plenty more wild-eyed paranoia about “globalists systematically feminising us to sell over-priced nutraceuticals”, as John Oliver once so memorably described his business model.

The article was updated on 23 March 2021 to clarify that the caller was Jacob Chansley.

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